• Course Introduction

        • Time: 69 hours
        • Free Certificate
        Business strategy is one of the most important factors in leading a successful business. If a business does not have a strategy, they lack a roadmap or blueprint to help them establish the company's direction. Without a map, it is impossible to know where the business is going. The business strategy allows companies to determine the direction, so all functional business areas can use the strategy as a guide for making decisions within their work units. One of the first steps to creating a strategy is determining internal and external constraints. By understanding these constraints and the market environment, the leader can ensure the strategy is the correct one and implement the strategy from an ethical perspective. Establishing a strategy isn't easy because it encompasses and requires commitment from every functional area (such as marketing, human resource management, operations, finance, and accounting) of the business. It also requires businesses to determine their core capabilities and level of competitiveness and leverage these to become a winning team. This course will address the many tools available to help leaders determine strategy and ethical frameworks to ensure the company's strategy aligns with its ethics and sustainability goals. The course will give you the tools to assess ethical models, make strategic decisions, and create a culture that will support those decisions.

        • Course Syllabus

          First, read the course syllabus. Then, enroll in the course by clicking "Enroll me". Click Unit 1 to read its introduction and learning outcomes. You will then see the learning materials and instructions on how to use them.

        • Unit 1: Integrating Ethics into Business Strategy

          In this unit, you will learn the basics of business strategy and ethics. There are many reasons why business strategy is important to organizations. First, the business strategy creates the vision for the organization that all functional department goals tie into. For example, suppose a company's vision is to "Provide the best shopping experience to customers". In that case, all functional areas, such as human resources, marketing, and even finance, should tie into this overall vision. Besides providing the vision for the organization, the strategy also allows a company to more easily set clear goals for the direction they want to go. Creating a successful strategy requires setting clear goals, which ties to the organization's overall vision. Creating the strategy for an organization also involves taking an ethical focus in all organization activities. The strategy must harness the vision of ethics and social responsibility to be effective. As you move through this unit, consider how companies you do business with tie their overall vision with ethical and socially responsible behaviors.

          Completing this unit should take you approximately 25 hours.

        • Unit 2: Management Strategies Analysis

          This unit focuses on the first step to strategy development, which is to analyze the business's current situation. Companies need to look at their core capabilities and competitiveness to succeed with their business strategy. These are the first steps to analyzing the current business situation. Without knowing where a company is currently at, it is difficult to determine the strategy. Therefore, by determining a business's external and internal factors and creating a mission and vision, the company can map where it wants to go from here.

          Completing this unit should take you approximately 15 hours.

        • Unit 3: Managerial Strategy Formation

          This unit will address the various ways to formulate a strategy. One of the most popular ways is to use Porter's Generic Strategies as a starting point. This strategy development method looks at whether a company will focus on the differentiation of its product or service or attempt to be a cost leader. Do you know the types of organizational structures that best support various strategies? In this unit, we will also address organizational structures and how they can help support business strategy. No business strategy is complete without considering ethics. This unit will also talk about the different methods companies can use to ensure a successful strategy and an ethical organization.

          Completing this unit should take you approximately 8 hours.

        • Unit 4: Integrating Ethics into Business Strategy

          Now that we have addressed strategy analysis and how to formulate a strategy, we will address how to implement and monitor the strategy. Some companies will develop the strategy but do not provide the necessary resources to support the strategy. This is an imperative step in the strategy process. Besides assigning resources to the chosen strategy, organizations must create a culture that encourages their human resources to support the strategy, which will be a topic in this unit. For example, how do leaders create a culture that supports the implementation of the strategy? Finally, after formulating and implementing a strategy, leaders need to monitor it to make sure it is working! If it isn't, they will make adjustments along the way. Because of this, we will talk about how to measure strategy and the adjustments that can be made along the way.

          Completing this unit should take you approximately 24 hours.

        • Study Guide

          This study guide will help you get ready for the final exam. It discusses the key topics in each unit, walks through the learning outcomes, and lists important vocabulary. It is not meant to replace the course materials!

        • Course Feedback Survey

          Please take a few minutes to give us feedback about this course. We appreciate your feedback, whether you completed the whole course or even just a few resources. Your feedback will help us make our courses better, and we use your feedback each time we make updates to our courses. If you come across any urgent problems, email contact@saylor.org.

        • Final Exam

          Take this exam if you want to earn a free Course Completion Certificate.

          To receive a free Course Completion Certificate, you will need to earn a grade of 70% or higher on this final exam. Your grade for the exam will be calculated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam on your first try, you can take it again as many times as you want, with a 7-day waiting period between each attempt. Once you pass this final exam, you will be awarded a free Course Completion Certificate.